The Problem with Windows 10

The Problem with Windows 10
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A reader told us he was glad he installed the free Windows 10. Then his digital world crashed. He couldn't find Picasa, the program he uses for editing his family photos. He asked us to organize a search party. Here's what the possé found:
The first time we used the new Windows 10 search bar at the bottom of our screen and typed "Picasa," it searched for it on the Web. We had to click the "my stuff" category and scroll through a lot of possibilities to find it. After that, Windows 10 got to know us and found programs easily.
Another way is to click "start," and then "all apps." They're listed alphabetically. "All apps" is much like the "all programs" list in Windows 7, but there are games, news, weather and other stuff off to the right in those colorful tiles you either love or hate.
By the way, if you're in the market for a new computer and find a good deal on a Windows 8 machine, go ahead and get it. You can always upgrade to Windows 10 for free, just by clicking the Windows flag in the right-hand corner of your screen.
Here are some reasons you might not want to upgrade to Windows 10:
1. Your computer works fine. (Follow the old farmer's rule: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.)
2. You use the Windows Media Center to record TV shows and stream shows to other devices. Windows Media Center is not available in Windows 10; they killed it. (Ours not to reason why, ours but to go out and buy.)
3. In Windows 10, updates will roll out automatically unless you're a Windows Pro user, in which case you can choose which updates you want. Some people are wary of updates after Microsoft messed up a few of them in the past. Despite that, we went ahead and did the upgrade to Win 10. (If you can't trust Microsoft, who can you trust? Don't answer that.)
By the way, our reader wrote back that he had sent his wife out to kill the fatted calf to celebrate having Picasa and his photos back. (Isn't there an ordinance against fatted calves in a residential zone?)
Teeny Tiny Drone
We just had our first experience with the Aerius quadcopter, which the maker claims is the world's tiniest drone - at least so far this month. It sells for $35, is about an inch across and weighs a tenth of an ounce. It even has red and blue running lights. We're airborne, more or less.
This thing looks very cute flying around the living room, but controlling it takes a lot of practice. We can picture a kid being willing to spend all day at it, but we didn't. We managed to bounce it off everything in our living room, including the ceiling. Watching this little copter fly really makes us think about the impossibility of any government agency controlling the use of drones. How are they going to prohibit people flying things the size of a quarter? How will anybody even know?
Getting the Jitters
A friend's 93-year-old mother is getting a new phone so she can call a ride service to be picked up when she's out and about. She's never used a cellphone. We suggested the Jitterbug. We've mentioned this before, and what we really like about it is you can talk to a human if you're lost.
We have a Jitterbug and a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, but the Jitterbug is the easiest to use. When we couldn't find a rental car agency near the airport once, we tapped "O" for operator on our Jitterbug. Besides greeting us by name, the operator steered us block by block to the rental car place, which had moved since we were last there.
If you get the Jitterbug for a senior member of your family, it's a good idea to practice with them. Sit beside them and call them, then let them call you. After you dial a number, it says "Call?" Press "yes" to call. Those used to landlines may need practice before they remember to press the "yes" button.
The Jitterbug comes with a lot of extra services, some free. For example, they'll put your list of contacts in the phone for you, and there's a button on the phone that connects you with emergency services. For an extra $5 a month, you can use a nurse-on-call feature. Anyway, we've had one for years and we like it, and this isn't a company promo. The Jitterbug 5 is $99 for the phone and $20 a month for the service.
· has a limerick collection. A woman calling herself Sheila B has more than 2,000 limericks on the site. You can browse by topic. We liked the ones in the computer category: "The harem computer is slow, so the Sultan decreed ...," etc.
· gives you a doctor's opinion from a generalist for $15, $35 for a specialist. It might not be any better than going to a doctor's office, but at least it's quicker and cheaper. Joy asked an orthopedic surgeon why she had femur pain; she broke it years ago as a teenager. He said it was probably either osteoporosis or osteoarthritis from the old injury. The pain was gone the next day, however, when she simply stopped doing a certain yoga move.
Road Tech
Asphalt roads don't last long, but few cities will put up the money for concrete or other materials. A construction company, VolkerWessels, has revealed plans for plastic roads. They last three times longer than asphalt and can withstand extreme heat and cold, down to minus 40 and up to 176 Fahrenheit. They're hollow, making it easy to lay down cabling and pipes, and are made of recycled plastic. The company will test them in Rotterdam's "street lab." They'll be on regular roads in the Netherlands in the next three years - God willing and the creek don't rise.
This reminds Bob of his earliest days as a reporter, when he was assigned to cover a public meeting of the highways commission.
"So if you pave it with asphalt, how long before it needs repairs," a citizen in the audience asked.
"Oh, could be five or six years," the highway engineer answered.
"Well, how about if you pave it with concrete," another citizen asked.
"Oh, maybe 100 years," said the engineer. But the cost went to the moon.

Source: Telegram
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